What is health?
Ask Canadians what makes them healthy and you would get many different answers. Some might say luck or family history; but most would point to their lifestyle — whether they smoke, how much they eat and drink, how much they exercise, and perhaps how well they manage their stress levels. There is no doubt that personal lifestyle has a very direct impact on health; but, health is generally viewed as much more complex.
The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) offers a simple definition of health as
“a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
“Social well-being” is an important aspect of this definition that may not always occur to us in thinking about our health.
For simplicity, we have organized the health concerns mentioned on our website into a variety of categories. Click on each category to find specific health conditions.
- Anxiety & Stress Related Conditions
- Autoimmune Disease
- Cardiovascular & Heart Disease
- Muscle Bone Joint Health Concerns
- Health Concerns: Women
- Adult Sport Injuries
- Youth Sport Injuries
What affects health?
There are many broad factors in our lives that influence our health. These factors include:
- Income and Social Status
- Social Support Networks
- Education and Literacy
- Employment/Working Conditions
- Social Environments
- Physical Environments
- Personal Health Practices and Coping Skills
- Healthy Child Development
- Biology and Genetic Endowment
- Health Services
These factors are known as the determinants of health. It is the inter-relatedness and changes in these determinants that make the health of individuals or groups a complex combination of factors.
Each person’s experiences of health can differ widely and vary across their lifetime. When faced with challenges – problems on the job, relationship troubles, the loss of a loved one – good health provides us with the physical and emotional resilience we need to cope with difficult times, regain our balance and live life fully.
– Sourced from Public Health Agency of Canada